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Media Article # 495

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

[Influx of searchers in Kota Tinggi]

By R. Sittamparam
New Straits Times

Tracks resembling giant footprints in forests around Kampung Lukut and Kampung Temening are being erased, seemingly to distract foreign tour groups on Bigfoot sighting expeditions here.

[It appears a private landowner has attempted to] cut the eco-tourist influx at these villages and nearby foothills by bulldozing and clearing the secondary forest where the Bigfoot footprints and other evidence were discovered.

A check by the New Straits Times showed the secondary jungle area beside the tar road where a set of Bigfoot footprints was first found by local jungle trekker Kong Nam Choy on Jan 16 had been cleared.

Foreign tour groups have been coming in big numbers and according to locals, this new eco-tourism activity had started after an expedition on Feb 20 by a team of local and foreign media members and researchers.

The team comprising American and local film crews, members of the Singapore Paranormal Investigators and a foreign newspaper journalist were led by Kong to discover fresh Bigfoot footprints at Kampung Lukut.

The team produced the first plaster cast of a clear footprint, believed to have been made by the Johor Bigfoot, which was widely reported in the local and foreign media.

It is believed that since then tour groups in Singapore had been organising Bigfoot tours to Kota Tinggi, for foreign and local tourists although this brought no benefit to locals.

Kong said yesterday that tourists would arrive in cars and vans as early as 6am to trek into the secondary jungle at the two villages, looking for evidence of Bigfoot.

It is sad to note that [a landowner] showed little interest in helping eco-tourism had chosen to take this most irrational step to stop the foreign visitors following the global interest in the Johor Bigfoot.

Biodiversity researcher, Vincent Chow said with some help from the relevant authorities, the villagers in the area could have reaped some benefits from the tourism potential of the area.

"The people’s representative here should look into developing this eco-tourism potential and charge visitors a fee to enter their land and provide car parking or guide service.

"The whole of Kota Tinggi should be promoted as Bigfoot country as eco-tourism has already been generated by the Bigfoot phenomena here."

Bibliographical Information:

The New Straits Times was founded in 1845. It is the oldest newspaper in Asia, and was the first newspaper to report on the giant ape incidents in Malaysia in the 1960's. It was also the first paper to report on the more recent rash of incidents.

The New Straits Times is providing the best updates on the Malaysia bigfoot story.

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